Congrats to team @trywildcard on the launch! - Wildcard Raises $10M, Launches A Browser Built For The Mobile Web
A mail-order snack maker that's thinking outside the box
.@BuzzFeed to Join IAB's Advertising Elite
.@gRamblings in @sai - Why Starting His Career As A VC Is Helping This Founder Change The Way You Snack
Visiting our colleague Pepper in Tokyo (@ ソフトバンク 銀座 - @softbank in 中央区, 東京都)
And $BABA is off! Super excited for our partner - MAKING HISTORY!
Watch us on @CBSThisMorning "I think we can build this company into something really big & powerful & disruptive,"
Fascinating graphic: The Buddy Media influence
Fitbit Charge, Charge HR & Surge: Welcome to a Whole New World of Fitness
.@MatthewLenahan presents @Hirewheel to the sold out @Brandery Demo Day crowd.
The @SoftBankVC 2 hr hike turned into a 5 hr search & rescue mission. #teambuilding
Team outing - SoftBank Hawks in Fukuoka!
Sept 20th, Startup Grind New York City Presents Gautam Gupta @gRamblings (@NatureBox) ow.ly/Bxvnc #NYC
#LakeStreetDive covering Hall & Oates #RichGirl @Terminal5NYC
Coming to a ballpark near you, one of the greatest inventions of all time, Kirin's Frozen Beer Slushie Maker - japantrendshop.com/frozen-beer-sl….
Glamsquad Raises $7 Million For On-Demand Hair Styling And Beauty Services tcrn.ch/1uFrJSH via @techcrunch
. @CrowdTwist helps @daveknox kickoff #BrandFusion (@ Paul Brown Stadium - @bengals)
“I have 46 Thanksgiving dinners left with my family. After that, I’ll be dead.” by @benhuh
SoftBank Leads $6 Million Round For Ed-Tech Startup EdCast techcrunch.com/2014/09/21/sof… via @techcrunch
How Gilt cofounder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson will grow Glamsquad upstart.bizjournals.com/entrepreneurs/… via @upstartbusiness
Go Cavs!!! RT @dickc: Excited for Dan Gilbert and everybody in Cleveland. This is excellent. youtube.com/watch?v=n6S1Jo… #AllForCleveland"
Team SoftBank having a great time at the Asia Society dinner celebrating Jack Ma
Coding boot camps fill the void of failing public education in tech
.@marissa's best vine ever, karaoke w/our colleagues in Tokyo
Last night I heard pitches from the most inspiring entrepreneurs I’ve ever met, and they were all convicted criminals. One spent eighteen years behind bars. Another was just released from prison four weeks ago. There were former drug dealers and gang leaders, men and women that applied hustle to the wrong professions.
A common thread amongst many of the most successful founders, whether they were raised out of poverty or privilege, is a fight to prove you’re something different than what your past would predict. These are people motivated to achieve more than their family, friends and peers could have ever expected from them. What would you expect from a convicted criminal?
Every great early stage pitch starts with the team. What if you replaced the Facebook, Google, Harvard or Stanford logos with a prison number? It’s a death sentence for a career, a past that predicts fear from any future employer, lender or investor. Pattern recognition does not bode well for any professional with a criminal history. Recidivism rates are reportedly as high as 70%.
Catherine Hoke, a former venture capitalist, saw that problem and left Silicon Valley to solve it. Every one of the entrepreneurs in training from last night’s event is backed by Catherine and the incredible team at Defy Ventures. The organization aims to get these individuals back on track by starting their own small business.
As FlashNotes CEO Mike Matousek quoted at the end of the evening, life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it. The majority of convicted criminals never escape their first profession. A minority of them come out of prison with the fire to prove something to the world and to themselves. Defy Ventures was created to stoke that fire, transforming the hustle of former criminals towards life-changing entrepreneurship. It impacts not only their lives but that of their loved ones, which in many cases includes children, and our community.
Many friends from the startup world graciously shared their time last evening to provide mentorship. As one of the entrepreneurs in training said, he found it amazing that the criminals were even more nervous to meet the executive volunteers than vice versa. If you would like to volunteer to attend or host a future event, or donate to the cause, please visit http://defyventures.org/.